US and Philippines Strengthen Alliance Amid China’s Aggression
The United States and the Philippines are joining forces to combat China’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific region. President Joe Biden and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met at the White House on May 1 to discuss increased military cooperation, including the transfer of air and maritime capabilities from the US to the Philippines.
According to White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, the meeting was about “strengthening our important alliance with the Philippines, which has been a force for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific for over 70 years.”
The summit comes at a critical time, as China has been repeatedly violating the Philippines’ economic rights by illegally fishing in their waters and using military-grade lasers to temporarily blind Filipino Coastguard crews. The Biden administration official stated that “the Chinese have taken some steps that have been really concerning to the Philippine leadership.”
Reaffirming Mutual Defense Treaty
The two leaders reaffirmed their nations’ 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, which requires the US to act in the event of an armed attack on the Philippine military. As part of the agreement, the US will transfer three C-130 aircraft and consider sending maritime patrol vessels to the Philippines.
Philippines Forced to Diversify Security Engagements
While Marcos was initially hesitant to position his nation between the US and China in their ongoing competition, China’s continued belligerence has forced the Philippines to diversify its security engagements. The Chinese ambassador to Manila recently gave a speech about changing circumstances in the Indo-Pacific, which many in the Philippines saw as a veiled threat to the nearly 200,000 Filipinos living in Taiwan.
The US and the Philippines are united in their commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. By strengthening their alliance and increasing military cooperation, they are sending a clear message to China that their aggression will not be tolerated.
- Increased military cooperation between the US and the Philippines to combat China’s aggression
- Reaffirmation of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty
- Philippines forced to diversify security engagements due to China’s continued belligerence
- US and Philippines united in their commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region
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